Maurice Tourneur,who was back in France in the early thirties,made an undistinguished work "Accusée Levez-Vous" which was pure filmed stage production style.But "Au Nom de La Loi" is a return to good directing ,as far as cinema is concerned.The ending,when the traffickers are encircled in their flat while a crowd is watching in the street,probably stems from Tourneur's American career.Alfred HItchcock 's final scene in "the man who knew too much" (1934) is similar.Even Marcel Carné's "Le Jour se Lève" (1939)owes something to it,including teargas.
The French Police investigate drug traffickers.Among them is a dangerous femme fatale ,Sandra (Marcelle Chantal,cast against type,for she was par excellence the bourgeois woman of the French melodrama),with whom a young cop,Marcel (Jean Marchat)falls in love. A whole scene shows the two lovers smoking dope on a boat.
Charles Vanel who made more movies than any other French actors,is cast as Lancelot (sic) the loyal cop.
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